I’ve been rejected from every job I’ve applied to. What do I do?

Sadly, job rejection stories of talented, qualified young people are becoming all too common now. Either you or someone you know is stuck in a rut where they can’t seem to get a call back from any of the countless places they’ve applied to. It’s disheartening, frustrating, and quite exhausting. Job rejection takes a psychological toll on a person, and at a certain point you’re ready to put your hands up in the air and give up.

But never do that. Don’t give up.

Just change your job search strategy.

Consistent job rejection doesn’t always mean something’s wrong with you. Perhaps you’re presenting yourself the wrong way, not qualified for the jobs you’re applying to, or simply looking in the wrong places. Whatever the reason you’re facing job rejection for, there’s always a way around it.


Freelancing has traditionally been seen as something pursued by only people in creative fields, or by those who travel. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Many companies are moving away from hiring full-time employees in favor of freelancers, as they provide greater value by delivering the same work a permanent employee does, without the added costs of hiring and retaining. It has opened up a whole new word of freelancing job opportunities in a large variety of fields, from marketing and law to administration, engineering, accounting and so much more.

There’s something for everyone. And one of the biggest perks of freelancing is that hiring companies don’t look at your degrees or past experience. They just need someone who can work and deliver. This is great for people who find that their inadequate work history is the cause for repeated job rejection. After working on a couple of freelance projects, you can actually add all the newly-gained diverse experience to your CV and score a much better chance of a permanent position at a firm.

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Some of the best sites to get you started are:

Update your skills

Don’t waste time between jobs. Use it to learn new skills, update what you already know, and meet new professionals in your industry. Many times, HR managers dismiss job applications because of certain skills they lack. Skills they can easily get in courses as short as 3 days, or at the most 6 weeks. They can be pretty affordable – generally the shorter the program, the cheaper it is. Do a quick Google search and you’d be surprised at the variety of courses offered in your area. There are also some great options online like the website or The website Udacity’s for example offers you a online course named nanodegree, and guarantees you a job offer as an employee or a contractor within 6 months from receiving your credential.

Learning new skills expands your knowledge and understanding, whilst also giving you the opportunity to meet other professionals within your field and make new contacts. The advantage in taking a course in your locale or closest city will be the chance to network with other people also taking the course, and the instructors themselves. They can refer you to unadvertised job opportunities and be useful as connections within the industry. You can even talk to them and ask them for advice on how to avoid job rejection.

Businesses are not only looking for specialized skills, but certain traits and skills found among high performers. According to recent research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), corporate organizations look to hire working professionals for new jobs with the following ten talents and skills:

  1. Ability to Prioritize
  2. Works well in teams
  3. Organizational Awareness
  4. Effective Problem Solving
  5. Self-Awareness
  6. Proactivity
  7. Ability to Influence
  8. Effective Decision Making
  9. Learning Agility
  10. Technical savvy
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Reduce chances of  job rejection by improving your CV

Job recruiters gets thousands of applications per vacancy. The only way to get through them is to skim through them. While hirers have always assumed it takes them less than five minutes per resume, a new study says otherwise; a recent research study from TheLadders found that the average recruiter takes less than 6 SECONDS per resume!

The shockingly low number means your CV has to pop out instantly, highlighting all the right places. The same study’s “gaze tracking technology showed that recruiters spent almost 80% of their resume review time on the following data points: name, current title/company, previous title/company, current position start and end dates, previous position start and end dates, and education.”

Make it easy for recruiters to find the information they need by using white space and bold font to draw attention. Keep important text, like section headings and titles, aligned to the left because the eye naturally reads from the left to right, improving readability. Other information, like dates and locations, can be aligned to the right to separate key information. And don;t forget to highlight your accomplishments!

Avoid any errors by proofreading it again and again, and then asking someone else to proofread it for you. A single mistake can instantly disqualify you. According to Careerbuilder, 61 percent of job recruiters automatically reject a job application if their resume contains a typo. Don’t let something as little as misspelling you previous title be the reason for losing out on a great career opportunity.

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Expand your search to new locations

It’s only natural to apply to companies within the location you live, or maybe the next major city nearby. Metropolitans like New York City have oversaturated job markets, and there’s fierce competition for every job opening in the city. If you’re not having much luck there, then consider applying outside your preferred city for a smaller city, or a less populated state. Job rejection in these areas are much less frequent and HR managers are also willing to give more time to you and your application.

Also look for job opportunities outside your country, preferably in a country where you can speak the language. Many companies are interested in hiring foreign talent to bring in a fresh perspective and angle to their work. Your work abroad will broaden your horizons and enrich your work experience, making you a highly qualified candidate for future positions.

Don’t be disheartened by a phase of job rejection. Sometimes, it just takes time. As Bo Bennett once said, “A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”


Article by Mishka N Orakzai

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